OLYMPIA, Washington (LifeSiteNews) — Washington Democrat Gov. Jay Inslee signed legislation Thursday formally affirming a “fundamental right” to abortion, allowing non-physicians to participate in abortions and amending the language of existing state abortion law to appease the sensibilities of transgender activists.
HB 1851, the Affirm Washington Abortion Access Act, formally declared that it is “the public policy of the state of Washington to continue to protect and advance equal rights to access abortion care that meets each individual’s needs, regardless of gender or gender identity, race, ethnicity, income level, or place of residence”; then replaced instances of “woman” and “her” with “pregnant individual,” based on the alleged need to “recognize that transgender, nonbinary, and gender expansive people also get pregnant and require abortion care.”
It also amended current law’s references to “physicians” in the context of abortion to include a “physician, physician assistant, advanced registered nurse practitioner, or other health care provider acting within the provider’s scope of practice”; and declared that the state “shall not penalize, prosecute, or otherwise take adverse action against an individual based on their actual, potential, perceived, or alleged pregnancy outcomes,” or “for aiding or assisting a pregnant individual in exercising their right to reproductive freedom with their voluntary consent.”
KONA reported that Inslee signed the bill into law Thursday, declaring that it “affirms that abortions are within the scope of practice of healthcare providers” and “protects patients from other states who would seek services in Washington,” such as Idaho residents who may cross state lines to abort after enactment of that state’s new legislation empowering relatives of aborted babies to sue abortionists (not abortion-seeking women) for committing abortions despite a detectable heartbeat.
Seattle University law professor Sital Kalantry acknowledged to Courthouse News that the law was more about “messaging and signaling” than practical impact, because Washington has no Texas- or Idaho-style abortion laws on the books.
Even so, it remains to be seen how the new references to abortions by non-physicians will change abortion practice in the Evergreen State. Pro-lifers argue that such laws not only increase the number of innocent lives lost to abortion but also put the women seeking abortions in greater danger by subjecting them to abortionists with less training or experience.
The danger was most dramatically illustrated by the case of infamous Philadelphia abortionist Kermit Gosnell, who delegated parts of the abortion process, such as administering anesthesia, to non-physician employees, one of whom was only 15 years old. In 2015, Gosnell was found guilty of involuntary manslaughter in the overdose death of one patient, and of first-degree murder of three born-alive infants.
Even when abortions are committed by fully-licensed physicians, they are frequently anything but safe for the mother, as evidenced by the records of numerous abortion facilities across the country, including chains embraced by abortion allies as leaders for their cause.